Today Germany deposited with the United Nations in New York its instrument of ratification of the UN Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
The Protocol has a two-fold focus: it defines, firstly, what is meant by these terms and, secondly, it commits the States Parties to prohibit sexual exploitation and make any violations of this ban punishable offences.
In this connection Federal Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier today (24 July) issued the following statement:
"We must step up the international fight against the sexual exploitation of children. For in too many places around the world children's rights are still being trampled underfoot. Children are sold, exploited as prostitutes and abused.
The UN Optional Protocol sets high standards worldwide for the legal protection of children. What is crucial now is to ensure much better implementation throughout the world of this voluntary legal commitment. There is also a need, however, to give more attention to combating child pornography on the Internet. Thanks to the new media, content can be transferred from one country to another in a matter of seconds. In this area international cooperation is absolutely vital."
Germany has deposited with the United Nations its instrument of ratification of the second Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Optional Protocol of 25 May 2000 to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography).
In Germany the Optional Protocol was transposed into national law in June 2008 following amendments to the Criminal Code (Section 176 I).